Music

Stringing together a career

Pantula Rama. Photo: K. Ananthan   | Photo Credit: K_Ananthan

She is a highly accomplished musician both in Carnatic vocal and instrumental music (violin and viola). She has also made a mark for herself in both academics and as well as in the domain of arts. A child prodigy, who started performing full-fledged concerts at the age of eight, Dr. Pantula Rama these days is a popular and sought after artiste.

Rama had her initial training in Carnatic music under the guidance of her father Pantula Gopala Rao and continued under the tutelage of I. Vijayeswara Rao. Rama strikes a perfect balance in her knowledge of theory and aesthetics in practice of music. She has played a significant role in inspiring music aspirants.

Married to M.S.N. Murthy, a reputed violinist, vocalist and viola artist, the couple together has regaled music lovers during their performances. Pantula Rama has many titles to her credit. Recently, Rama was awarded “Nada Bhushanam” title by Delhi’s Sree Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha. Rama was in the Capital to receive the award and also for a performance.

Excerpts from an interview with Rama:

How did you feel receiving the "Nada Bhushanam" award? It was indeed an honour receiving this title from the esteemed organisation.

How did your family background and gurus help you in shaping as a professional artiste?

I was born in a culturally and academically rich family of scholars, poets, astrologers and doctors. My parents are musicians. My father was my first guru. In spite of being an exceptionally capable engineer, he chose and put in great efforts to create and maintain the ambience at home true to his passion i.e. music. My mother’s support was immense. Hence music has been a way of life to me since birth. This continued even when we were away from South India for many years. My father subsequently put me under Sri Ivaturi Vijayeswara Rao, for advanced training. A brilliant and genius musician, his role in honing my musical personality has been unparalleled and wholesome.

You have also learnt violin. How do you balance between vocal and violin performances? 

My love for the instrument and the great violinists that I have been associated with all my life made me learn and practise violin.

However, it has taken a backseat because of my busy performing schedule as vocalist.

Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, do you have the language advantage while singing Telugu songs?

Definitely language is an advantage because there is that native flavour.

But I also make special efforts to understand the structure and meaning of the songs, whether it is Telugu or any other language.

What were your significant findings in your research paper for Ph.D. on the study of shaping of an ideal Carnatic musician through Sadhana?

My finding is, though there can be significant difference in the way a musician can shape up with different methods, the ideal can only happen when there is innate gift, passion and proper channelling of the same, followed by hard work.

But no two cases are similar and each one needs customized arrangement. After all, it is a very personal journey.




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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 10:56:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/interview-with-pantula-rama/article7481904.ece

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